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How to register for ACT Exam : Cost and Requirements

About the ACT

The American College Testing (ACT) is a standardized test that evaluates your readiness for college and takes your results into account when deciding who to admit. This test is one of the criteria used to determine if you are eligible to be admitted to a college or university. The ACT exam consists of five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing (essay) . The purpose of these ACT exam areas is to evaluate a candidate’s written, verbal, mathematical, and scientific skills.


American College Test, Inc. is in charge of running the ACT. Students applying to undergraduate programs in the United States and Canada must take this standardized exam.

ACT Exam
Also Read: Duolingo English Test: Fees and How to Register

ACT Eligibility Criteria

There are no specific requirements for the ACT exam, but the following serves as tips you should know before applying.

  • According to the American College Test, Inc. which manages the ACT exams, anyone can apply for the test regardless of age or academic grade levels.
  • Although the ACT does not provide any specific requirements, you should check the eligibility requirements specified by the specific institutions/colleges you are applying to.
  • You should also be aware that the ACT test, which is often taken by high school graduates aged 13 and up, is approved for college entrance in the US.
  • In order to submit your ACT scores on time, you should take the test at least two months before the institution’s deadline for applications. Since the ACT scores are typically released two to eight weeks after the test date.


Fee TypeDescriptionCost
Registration FeeThe basic fee for the ACT test$150 (without writing)
Registration Fee with WritingThe writing fee is $16.50$166.50 (with writing)
International FeesChargeable for International Students as you will be taking the test outside of US$51
Late FeeCharged if you register after the deadline but before the final late registration$35
Waitlist FeeCharged if you register after the late registration deadline$51
Change FeeCharged if you change the test date, test center, or test type$35
Question and AnswersTest Information Release (TIR) feeSends you the test questions and correct answers after the exam is complete so you can see what mistakes you made (optional)$20

How to Register for ACT

Step 1: Create an Account on ACT.org;

You must create a MyACT account before you can sign up for the ACT. The following information is required from students creating a new account: complete name, date of birth, email, nationality, and phone number. They must also concur with the rules and regulations. You must send an email or text message to verify your information after creating an account.

Step 2: Visit Your ACT Dashboard and Click “Register for the ACT”:

After creating a MyACT account, you can begin the process of registering for the ACT. Students should visit the ACT dashboard page to find a registration link.

From there, you can select whether you’ll be testing in or outside the U.S. and indicate whether you’ll need any accommodations during the exam for a documented disability. You must also decide whether you plan on taking the ACT with or without the optional Writing component.

Step 3: Choose Your Test Center and Test Date

After specifying the type of exam you want to take (e.g., with or without the Writing section), you’ll be taken to a screen where you can select both your testing center and test date. Enter your zip code to find the closest testing centers. You can toggle views to choose from available dates or available sites. Depending on your availability, you may be unable to take the ACT at the closest testing center.

Step 4: Review Your Selections

After confirming the testing location and date, review your selections to make sure everything looks correct. If paying for the ACT exam out of pocket, this is when you can use a credit or debit card to pay the exam fee. Learners who have been issued an ACT fee waiver, voucher, or promotional code can enter the confirmation number during this step.

Step 5: Add Services and Practice Materials (Optional)

ACT Inc. offers a variety of practice materials, tutoring services, and self-paced ACT prep courses. Students can also access live online courses and prep guides. You can add any of these services or products as extras on the page following payment.

In addition, on this page you can buy a test information release (TIR) for $30. This provides you with a copy of your answers. You’ll receive a digital copy along with your ACT scores.

Step 6: Add Your Photo ID and Additional Personal Information

On the next page, you must provide additional information, including a photo ID that will be used to verify your identity on test day. You must also enter other data, including courses taken and grades received.

At this point, examinees can opt into ACT Inc.’s Education Opportunity Service (EOS), a free program for students who want their information and scores to be sent to accredited colleges and scholarship agencies.

Step 7: Indicate Your College Choices and Score Preferences (Optional)

Next, you have the option of listing your prospective colleges so your ACT scores can be sent directly to these schools. ACT Inc. allows you to send ACT scores to up to four schools for free.

Many students decide to do this with schools they know they want to attend so they can save time and money. Students applying to highly competitive schools may prefer to skip this step so they can ensure their score is strong enough before sending score reports to prospective colleges.

Step 8: Enter Your Parent or Guardian’s Information (Optional)

You may opt to enter your parents’ or guardians’ contact information so they can see your test scores as well. You do not need to complete this step and can choose to keep your ACT score reports private if you so choose.

Step 9: Submit Payment and Confirm Your ACT Registration

On the final registration page, you’ll complete the payment process, including any extras or add-ons you selected on the previous pages. Carefully review the terms and conditions set forth by ACT Inc. before accepting them.

ACT Exam Pattern

Here is the ACT paper pattern –

English45 minutesUsage/Mechanicspunctuationgrammar and usagesentence structureRhetorical Skillsstrategyorganizationstyle75 Questions
Math60 minutesPre-algebraElementary algebraIntermediate algebraCoordinate geometryPlane geometryTrigonometry60 multiple-choice questions
Reading35 minutesFour passages are given, each passage from different sections like social studies, natural science, fiction, and humanities40 questions
Science35 minutesData representation like graphs and tablesResearch summariesConflicting viewpoints40 questions
Optional writing test40 minutesOne writing prompt 
Total3 hours and 35 minutes (excluding breaks)4 sections (one optional)215 question

ACT Exam Scores

Here are the average ACT scores by sections –


Facts about ACT

  • The ACT test is a curriculum-based exam that evaluates what the student has learned in school.
  • The ACT test consists of four sections –English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science, in addition to an optional 40-minute writing test.
  • The test scores are used by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States to supplement a candidate’s high school records, recommendation letters and other qualifications for undergraduate-level study.
  • You need to have a complete high school level knowledge to take the ACT exam.  The test is conducted six times a year in the US, US territories, Puerto Rico and Canada. And In is held on five test dates in the rest of the countries.
  • You must also note that the ACT exam pattern does not have any negative marking. So no worries! You can take a chance on guessing the answers.

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